Decades after two climbers first summited Mount Everest, mountaineers from across the globe continue to set their sights on the world’s tallest peak.

Tents pepper the ground of Everest Base Camp, tucked into the mountainside under the towering Khumbu Glacier. PHOTOGRAPH BY CORY RICHARDS, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC

Read more and check out the historic photos collected by National Geography at their website.

Nearly 100 years after scientists determined Mount Everest was the world’s highest peak, New Zealand climber Edmund Hillary and Nepalese Sherpa Tenzing Norgay became the first mountaineers to reach its summit. On May 29, 1953, the two pioneered a route along the mountain’s Southeast Ridge.

Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary drink a celebratory cup of tea after their successful ascent of Mount Everest. PHOTOGRAPH BY ROYAL GEOGRAPHIC SOCIETY/NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC

“Both Tenzing and I thought that once we’d climbed the mountain, it was unlikely anyone would ever make another attempt,” Sir Edmund Hillary once said. “We couldn’t have been more wrong.”

Porters carry supplies to Everest Base Camp as part of the 1963 American Mount Everest Expedition. The expedition, funded by the National Geographic Society, marked the first American summit of the mountain. PHOTOGRAPH BY BARRY BISHOP, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC

Since then, scores of intrepid climbers and expedition groups from all over the world have set out to meet their fate on Everest. Some followed in Hillary and Tenzing’s footsteps. Others discovered and created new paths to the top. Too many took their last breaths on Everest, never to return home.

Read more and check out the historic photos collected by National Geography at their website.

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